Happy Saturday. We’re a day away from the seasons opener against Manchester City. I can’t wait. I’m not going, but it should be an interesting test to face so early on in the season.
We’re still a way off the pace when it comes to fitness, most quality teams will be. The bigger concern is that we’re still short on talent in key areas. Thomas Vermaelen flying the nest is bad news for numbers. We can’t go into a season with just two experienced centre backs. It’s a risk to take our strategy for snaring someone new to the end of the transfer window. Hopefully the club have a few names in mind.
Calum Chambers in at centre back… for some very tough games. What a baptism.
Tony Lean has smashed out a very interesting interview with Liam Brady on his time at Arsenal. Read it all here. I thought this comment on our keeper was very interesting.
“I was instrumental is getting (Wojciech) Szczesny from Poland and I’ve said to him on occasions, ‘I played with two of the best keepers of all time, Pat Jennings and Dino Zoff, and they never said a word’. They never wanted to say anything in the media. All they wanted to do was keep their goal intact and their defence in shape. And they played their careers at the very highest level. Listen to what I’m saying. Wojciech could be one of the best, because in goalkeeping terms he is very young.”
A read between the lines moment if ever I read one.
What I took from the article is basically what I take from hearing the things that go on in and around the club. You’ve the old guard, who are still integral to the set up, calling shots in an era they’ve not really embraced. An era they don’t really know how to own. Liam left on his own accord, but you still have Primorac and Colbert hanging around. You can bet your bottom dollar they’re both very similar in mindset. Well, we know Colbert was because we witnessed the aftermath of his fitness philosophy for the last 8 years.
Change is good. Wenger isn’t particularly forthcoming at enacting it. That article really showcased what happens when you don’t have a consistent churn of staff in key positions. Stagnation.
There’s a really interesting interview with Rosicky on the independent website.
“It is a big club with big ambition and for me it was always worth fighting for it. That’s why I have been here so long. Was I happy that we didn’t win for so long? Of course I wasn’t. I just wanted to stick around and fight for it. This is a club that is worth fighting for.”
He also had this to say on our big game striking problems…
‘In these kind of games you cannot expect to get two or three chances for a goal. You get one chance and that is it. That is what Chelsea do very well in the big games in particular. There is a place for improvement in this department.’
Too true Thomas. Certainly one of the best performers at the club over the last three years. Interesting that the longest serving players at Arsenal are now him, Diaby and Theo… three players of very questionable health. I’m hoping that Shad will reduce the problems we have with these players. I met someone who worked personally with an Arsenal player and they mentioned how shocked they were with the diet of said player… and also said that they felt Arsenal didn’t focus enough on the root cause of some of the recurring issues. I guess that comes down to having tailored plans. If you know a player can’t tolerate three games in a week, offer up a solution that takes that into account. There are certainly areas we can improve on moving forward… but I guess even the best set ups still have issues with crocks.
Tony Adams is back in the press with more pearls of wisdom, this time about Jack.
‘He should have taken it as a personal insult that Arsenal went out and signed Ozil when they already had the same talent at their disposal in him.’
Oh jeez Tone, I really don’t think they’re the same player by any stretch. Comments like the above really sully anything interesting you have to say after. I think this is the major problem with a lot of the ex-legends at the club. They’re just not that interesting. I know that sounds harsh, but some of the things that hit the papers in the name of previous greats is really not that helpful to anyone. It’s either totally ignorant of the clubs problems and reeks of ‘give me a job at the club’, or it’s the opposite, totally confrontational and reeks of ‘give me a column in a paper’.
Right, enough from me. Have a great day!